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Old 01-31-2002, 02:03 PM   #1
pmcmill
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Registered: Jan 2002
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Booting and lilo (for dummies)


Hi All ,
After my recent problems with my Suse 7.0 installation I'm left with a few questions/doubts about the Linux boot process and Lilo . Hopefully one of you guys will shed some light on the subject .

Let's say you start a new installation from floppy on a clean HD .
The floppy boots and you go through the installation . Linux partitions your drive /dev/hda1 (boot) /dev/hda2 (swap) and /dev/hda3 (/) . On reboot the mbr tells the system where to find the /boot directory and the system boots up from there , no ?
Then the /boot directory gives you the "boot:" prompt and from there it tells the system where to find the /root directory ?
Is that right ??

The problem I have is understanding what exactly lilo does . I had the option of installing lilo to the mbr but isn't lilo a bigish file ?? The mbr is small . What exactly is lilo going to do in my mbr . Is it like installing a seperate boot manager . i.e it takes over the boot process from the mbr . Do I need it at all . ??

As you can see I'm missing something (as usual) .

Any help would be appreciated .

Paul
 
Old 01-31-2002, 02:20 PM   #2
TacKat
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LILO is the part of the system that does the booting. When the computer is turned on, it checks several places for boot instructions: floppy, cd-rom and the MBR (not necessarily in that order). When the computer finds one that has bootup instructions, it follows those.

The MBR isn't a program that can tell the computer how to boot, rather it's a place on the hard drive that the computer will look to find instructions. When you put LILO in the MBR, it provides the boot instructions (and as a side-note, it's not the whole LILO executable file that goes into there - it's just a set of instructions that LILO writes to it). If you don't have LILO, or some other bootloader, installed and written to the MBR, the computer won't be able to startup.
 
Old 01-31-2002, 02:53 PM   #3
pmcmill
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Thanks TacKat,
I appreciate the info .
Paul
 
  


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